Saddlebreds Set to Compete at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair
RELEASE: May 7, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Sara Cavanagh
A record number of Saddlebreds are entered in pleasure classes at the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, which runs May 21-30. Saddlebred competitions begin on Wednesday, May 27, following open jumpers and side saddle on the evening program. Devon benefits Bryn Mawr Hospital, to which it has donated more than $13 million over its decades of association. Last year the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair made a record donation of $335,000 to Bryn Mawr Hospital following a banner year during, which the horse show played before the largest crowds in its history.
Saddlebred classes open the “Devon at Sunset” program at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, and championship classes are held during both the afternoon and evening schedules on Friday and Saturday.
Misdee Wrigley Miller, whose Hillcroft Farm of Paris, KY, won four championships at last year’s show, is returning this year with six Saddlebreds as well as her championship four-in-hand coach. Among Miller’s entries is the 2008 Five-Gaited Saddle Horse Stake winner Callaway’s Mystical Moment.
Also returning this year is 2008 Three-Gaited Saddle Horse Stake winner Callaway’s Born With Style, owned by Robin Vuillermet and Bill Beckley.
The Pleasure classes are huge this year, with 10 to 12 entries per class,” said show manager Peter Doubleday. “We’re very encouraged by the number of pleasure entries.”
“Show pleasure, country pleasure, park and Friesian classes are all very nicely filled,” said Doubleday. “We’re still taking entries in Saddlebred classes and are hoping to fill the open classes as well. The Northeast stables are supporting the show, but we also have entries from Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.”
Saddlebreds are shown in three divisions, three-gaited, five-gaited and fine harness, at Devon.
The Saddlebred is an American breed, including Thoroughbred, Morgan and other trotting horse blood, that is judged on action, manner, animation and conformation. The three-gaited saddle horse, shown with a clipped mane, is judged for a true, flat-footed walk, a balanced, collected and graceful trot, with high, animated action, and a smooth, easy canter. The five-gaited saddle horse is also scored on these gaits, plus the slow gait, a slow stepping pace with high, animated action, and the rack, a fast, exciting four-beat gait in which each hoof strikes the ground individually. He is shown with a full-flowing mane and tail. The fine harness horse, also shown with a full mane and tail, is hitched to an appropriate four-wheeled vehicle and performs at only two gaits, a walk and an animated park gait.
The Country Fair features a variety of shopping for all ages, equestrians and non-equestrians alike. Boutiques sell the latest in fashion, sporting clothes, silver and gold jewelry and beautiful hats, and the Art Gallery features paintings and prints by many local talented artists. Vendors from all over visit Devon to sell classical pieces ranging from hand-painted furniture with horses and dogs to leather goods, antiques and more, all making wonderful gifts. Don’t forget to visit the Souvenir Shop for Devon Horse Show apparel, collectibles and the cookbook, Appetizers at Devon
Food is available for every taste, including hamburgers, hot dogs, the famous French fries, pizza, ice cream, pitas, tea sandwiches, specialty coffee drinks, gourmet dining in the Garden Cafe, and of course, the traditional Devon fudge and lemon sticks.
Special events occur throughout the 10 days; Thursday, May 21, and Tuesday, May 26, are Family Days, with discounts on food and Midway ride or game tickets, and Back Barn Tours; Saturday, May 23, is Children’s Day, with a variety of fun craft activities; and on Wednesday, May 27, the annual hat contest is part of Ladies Day. Please check the website for further details.
General admission is $7 for adults, $3 for c